Thursday, March 6, 2003

Time of renewal begins

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

[photo] Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk marks the forehead of David DíAvigron DíAvignon, of Greenhills, with ashes Wednesday during a lunchtime service at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral downtown.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
Many Christians publicly declared themselves sinners Wednesday when they donned crosses of ash on their foreheads.

Ash Wednesday means the beginning of the 40-day observance of Lent, a period of preparation for Easter. The ashes, created by burning the palms of last year's Palm Sunday, is a mark of penance for sins and a reminder of human mortality, said the Rev. Tom Snodgrass of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, downtown.

"What we try to do is think about our creaturehood, about our salvation and our reliance on God. We can't get to heaven on our own. We rely on God for that," said Snodgrass, who served as a co-celebrant with Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczykfor Mass at the cathedral Wednesday.

Lent is a time for Christians to develop a relationship with God, renew themselves and repent for their sins, Snodgrass said.

While Snodgrass didn't give a homily for Wednesday's Mass, he said he expected Pope John Paul II's message of peace likely found its way into many of the homilies in Catholic Churches throughout the Tristate.

"In our way of looking at things, each individual life is a gift that God gives and we should use our gifts to the best of our abilities and then give what we've done with our lives to God," Snodgrass said.


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